Day 1 - Arrival
Upon arrival at Brindisi or Bari airport you will be welcomed by our local English speaking assistant and driver who will transfer you to your hotel situated in the heart of Lecce.
Day 2 - Lecce and Otranto
A full day dedicated to the discovery of the gems of the Salento peninsula. The morning will be spent on a guided walking tour of Lecce, which is called the Florence of South Italy for the richness of its monuments and the abundance of churches and noble palaces. In the heart of Lecce a private noble palace of the 15th century will open its doors exclusively for you: here you will enjoy an exclusive guided tour of the palazzo and a wine aperitif together with the owner in his private apartments. During the walking tour of Lecce, your guide will also lead you to an artisan workshop, where you will observe artisans at work while they create papier-mache' objects. After lunch you will depart with your local guide and driver to the Adriatic coast for a visit to the village of Otranto, also known as the door to East.
Day 3 - Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca
After breakfast you will meet your driver and local guide for a full day tour exploring the Ionian coast, until the end of Italy's boot. Your first stop will be Gallipoli, the charming city. This fascinating small town will capture your attention because, besides the main sights of the old city centre you will also be able to enjoy several scenes of local everyday life which are typical of a small sea-town in southern Italy. After lunch we will proceed to Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost point of Apulia. This small white fisher village was called in the past finibus terrae (the end of the world) for its position: from here, in fact, you will be able to enjoy a wonderful view, that of the Adriatic sea merging together with the Ionic sea.
Day 4 - Apulia countryside and Ostuni
After breakfast check-out and departure to Ostuni with your driver. On the way to your next accommodation you will stop for a visit to one of Apulia's oldest and most famous wineries. After the visit to the interesting wine museum, you will enjoy a wine tasting with typical Apulian bakery products. Proceed to Ostuni. Before reaching your hotel, you will stop in a Masseria for a unique experience. Once you arrive, you will be escorted on a guided tour of this charming farm-house. At the end of the tour you will be invited to enjoy an olive-oil tasting and lunch.Early in the afternoon check-in into your hotel. In the evening you can enjoy a relaxing walk in Ostuni, also called the white lady for the blinding light of its whitewashed buildings: do not miss the cathedral in Apulian Romanesque style with its beautiful rose-window, and the stunning view on the Adriatic coast from which Ostuni is separated by an ocean of centuries-old olive trees.
Day 5 - Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca
This morning, after breakfast, together with your driver you will head towards Alberobello, a small fairy-tale village known all over the world for its cone-shaped buildings and included into the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. You will enjoy here a wine- and food-tour on board a vintage FIAT 500 car which includes: a guided walking tour of Alberobello with visit to some trulli-houses and to the olive-oil museum, visit to a winery, visit to a cheese factory and to an oil-mill. You will enjoy various tastings during the tour, together with a panoramic tour of the wonderful countryside around Alberobello and final lunch based on local products. After lunch, with your driver and local guide, you will continue with your discovery of the Itria Valley, visiting the picturesque village of Locorotondo with its iron-wrought balconies and whitewashed buildings, as well as the small town of Martina Franca with its palaces and churches in Baroque and Rococo' style.
Day 6 - Castellana Grotte and Egnazia
This day will be dedicated to the wonders of Nature and to the treasures of archaeology: in the morning you will visit the Castellana Grottoes which have become one of the most important cave complexes in Italy thanks to their spectacular natural galleries and crystalline concretions. The afternoon will be dedicated to the discovery of Apulia's most famous archaeological site: the town of Egnazia. You will admire here traces of the most important civilizations which occupied the territory of the heel of Italy, such as remains of Roman houses, of the Via Traiana, Messapian tombs, traces of Hellenistic period.
Day 7 - Matera
Breakfast in hotel and departure with your local driver to Matera, the famous town of sassi. After check-in you will meet your local guide who will show you the peculiarities of Matera, a unique town which has been included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its old centre, where dwellings and churches were amazingly carved into the rock. The guided tour of Matera also includes a kind of small rural museum called Casa Grotta (where you will observe how the inhabitants of Matera used to live in the past in their houses carved into the rock) and a rupestrian church with impressive frescoes realized on the rock surface. After the guided walking tour, you will have lunch with typical local specialities in a cosy restaurant carved into the rock.
Day 8 - Castel del Monte and Trani
A full day dedicated to the discovery of the traces of Imperial Apulia and to Apulian Romanesque art: the highlights of today are the octagonal Castel del Monte and the charming town of Trani. The first stop will be the imposing Castel del Monte, built in 1240 under the reign of Frederick II: this is the most enigmatic and mysterious monument of south Italy, also called the stone crown of Apulia for its particular position and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with you guide and driver you will head on to Trani, a charming small town with a picturesque harbour, an imposing Norman castle and one of the most beautiful cathedrals of Apulia built by the sea in a wonderful Apulian Romanesque style.
Day 9 - Altamura and Bari
After breakfast, departure with your driver to Altamura, where you will visit a local bakery: here you will be able to taste the typical Altamura bread together with some Apulian bakery products. The day continues with the capital of Apulia, the lively city of Bari. You will visit the Norman-Swabian castle, the old town with its picturesque narrow side streets, the Basilica of St. Nicholas and the Cathedral of St. Sabin.
Day 10 - Departure
After breakfast check-out and transfer to Bari or Brindisi airport with your English speaking assistant.